ESPN NFL reporter Chris Mortensen said Sunday morning that the bizarre use of social media by Antonio Brown last week might have been a plan to force the Raiders to cut him
What a whirlwind weekend it was for NFL receiver Antonio Brown.
The former malcontent Steelers all-star, who demanded an exchange earlier this year before signing a $ 30 million guarantee contract with the Oakland Raiders, posted a message on Instagram on Saturday and demanded that his new team release him.
After finally – and reluctantly – granting his wish, he posted a video of himself running into his backyard with a childish grin on his face and his arms flying in the air like a bird.
& # 39; Free! Ahhhh! Let's go! & # 39; Brown calls during the video. & # 39; The bell with freedom bell has let me fly like I'm free! Fly like an eagle! & # 39;
It was the culmination of a bizarre series of messages on social media from Brown & # 39; s side. And a new report from veteran ESPN NFL reporter Chris Mortensen indicates that it might all be part of a comprehensive plan to force the Raiders to get Brown out of the team so he can sign up with a new one.
Mortensen announced Sunday morning that Brown had sought advice from social media consultants on how the Raiders could free him from his contract.
Antonio Brown posted a video of himself on social media on Saturday in which he celebrated after the Oakland Raiders released him from his guaranteed $ 30 million contract
The video shows how Brown runs into his backyard with a childish grin on his face and his arms fluttering in the air like a bird
& # 39; Antonio Brown actually sought advice from social media consultants during the week on how to speed up his release from the Raiders, & # 39; said Mortensen during ESPN & # 39; s Sunday NFL Countdown.
& # 39; And this all started when he issued the letter from Mike Mayock that he was fined. He published that on social media, which led to the confrontation. & # 39;
Indeed, Brown – who had refused to report to the Raiders practice on August 18 and 22 while continuing to argue with the NFL that his old helmet model was considered outdated for safety reasons – uttered anger when Oakland fined him a total of $ 53,550 imposed because he did not report to training camp and passages like any other player.
He posted the letter he received about fines from CEO Raiders Mike Mayock on his Instagram story Wednesday morning, turning a private personnel issue into a viral social media fiasco.
Later that same day, Brown, still fuming over a fine by Mayock, reportedly called the GM a & # 39; cracker & # 39; for his teammates and had to be stopped by linebacker Vontaze Burfict.
Brown denied the use of the racial lie and the scuffle, and told ESPN reporter Dianna Russini that & # 39; everything was blown away out of proportion & # 39 ;, said TMZ Sports.
At that time, the managers of the team found that Brown was too risky to give a guaranteed $ 30 million, so they went looking for a way to possibly cancel the deal and determined the fine print Brown required to do week one. Play against the Denver Broncos before Brown & # 39; s guaranteed money starts.
If AB was suspended prior to week one because of behavior that was harmful to the team, the managers could release him without having to pay him the majority of the $ 30 million.
They used the situation as leverage to force AB to agree to a week-to-week wage structure instead of guaranteed money.
Brown later apologized to the Raiders at a press conference, but the problems didn't stop there.
Brown has uploaded a highly stylized, professional-quality video with audio with a recorded telephone conversation between the receiver and Raider's head coach Jon Gruden
Two days later, Brown uploaded a very stylized, professional video recording and edited by Alejandro Narciso from SDLN Creative, a Miami-based production company.
The video contained black and white b-roll shots of AB sitting in a sauna, fitting in a Raiders uniform and playing with his children before a training montage flashes on the screen.
The audio contained a recorded telephone conversation between Brown and Raider's head coach Jon Gruden, which could be heard through dramatic orchestral music in the background.
& # 39; What the hell is going on, man? & # 39; Gruden asked in the clip.
Brown against posted the video of the conversation between him and Gruden on his Instagram page
During the discussion, coach Gruden Brown asked if he still wants to become a Raider
& # 39; Just a villain in the news, man, & # 39; Brown replies as an audio clip montage of sports reporters who criticize the bizarre behavior of the receiver starts playing.
& # 39; You are not a villain. You're just … you're the most misunderstood f * ckin & # 39; human in my entire life & # 39 ;, Gruden tells Brown. & # 39; Let me ask you this. Do you want to become a Raider or not? & # 39;
& # 39; Man, I've been trying to be a Raider from day one, & # 39; Brown replies. & # 39; I've been working f * cking my * ss harder than anyone else. I don't know why it's a matter of being a Raider. Do you want ME to be a Raider?
& # 39; Please stop this sh * t and just play soccer. How hard is that? You are a great soccer player. Just play soccer & # 39 ;, says Gruden.
& # 39; Yes, but I am more than a soccer player, man. I'm a real person. It's not about soccer. I know how to do that. I show you that daily. This is my life. There are no more games. & # 39;
Brown against placed the video on his Instagram page along with the following caption:
& # 39; With all these false stories that work against me, it's time for me to master my own story. Show the world that I am not the bad guy. Show the world that you can free yourself from the lies and become your own person, "he wrote.
& # 39; I am not only AB the soccer player, I am Antonio Brown, the person who has paved the way for himself to be in charge of his own life … Free me! & # 39;
Gruden asked questions about Brown's suspension, so that the league game would be played on Monday-evening in the first game of the Raiders.
But Brown clearly had other plans in mind. He posted an Instagram message early on Saturday morning telling the Raiders that he had changed his mind and asked them to continue and release him from his contract.
& # 39; You are going to make many people angry when you start doing what is best for you you… and that's great! I have worked all my life to prove that the system is blind to seeing talent like mines, & Brown wrote.
I'm not mad at anyone. I'm just asking for the freedom to prove them all wrong. Release me @raiders #NOMore. & # 39;
Oakland obliged Brown & # 39; s request less than two hours later.
Speculation as to whether an NFL team would be willing to sign Brown after all the turmoil he was involved with during the summer was quickly suppressed when ESPN reported that the AB and the New England Patriots had agreed to contract terms.
The six-fold Super Bowl winners would enter into a one-year agreement with Brown worth up to $ 15 million, including a $ 9 million signing bonus that would give the recipient the guaranteed money he wanted in an upfront payment.
The figure was a fraction of what the Raiders had agreed to pay Brown, but the money and the ability to catch passes from Tom Brady seemed like the best scenario consolation prize for the 31-year-old veteran who now has to prove that he can keep it together before a team wants to offer him a lot of money again.
Now Drew Rosenhaus, the agent, said there was a robust market for Antonio Brown. He doesn't lie. I looked around. Teams were seriously interested. Hello, Russell Wilson campaigned for him in Seattle because he worked for him in the off season. And then, yes, the Cleveland Browns.
Mortensen suggested that Brown's trip to New England was a complete circle situation. The Patriots are a rival team to whom the Steelers had refused to trade their star-wide receiver.
& # 39; As for Bill Bellichick, he was always interested in Antonio Brown when he was out of reach this season. He actually offered the Steelers a first round pick. Kevin Colbert of the Steelers wanted more, but did not want to trade it at all, & Mortensen said.
Was Brown's one-week circus a calculated plan to be signed with the Patriots? It's hard to say at a glance, but AB & # 39; s social media antics didn't end with the new announcement.
Out of the door in his figurative way, the receiver got a pit in the Raiders. Allegedly & # 39; found & # 39; he likes a tweet that his former boss, Mayock, described as & # 39; the dumbest popsicle on the planet & # 39; and & # 39; adding a true bias * sshole & # 39 ;, to Mayock, & # 39; should be raped in the * ss and then fire [d]. & # 39;
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